AG’s Letter to the Chairman, National Accountability Bureau

Jan. 9, 2014

For the last several months, reporters from various English- and Urdu-language newspapers have solicited my views on allegations leveled against Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL) by one of your investigating officers, Waqas Ahmed Khan, in the case of former Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority chairman Tauqir Sadiq.

As a director of JJVL and journalist, I find these “leaks,” which are based on distortion and falsehoods, repugnant and troubling. While these are clearly aimed at maligning JJVL and its principals in order to impose an adversarial environment shorn of any fairness, they also damage the reputation of your organization as one that adheres strictly to the principles of judiciousness and the law. These reckless, abuse-of-authority “leaks” by Mr. Khan establish a blinding bias that compromises the integrity of your organization.

Mr. Khan’s “leaks” have already resulted in a series of defamatory stories in the national press. Recently, reporters have, again, sought comment on the fresh spate of accusations made against JJVL by Mr. Khan. These include claims that:

1. The Kunnar-Pasakhi gas-processing agreement is illegal.
2. JJVL “stole” some “Rs. 20 billion” worth of gas from Kunnar-Pasakhi Deep field.
3. JJVL’s chairman has refused cooperation with your institution.

These are allegations demonstrably devoid of reality.

To begin with, JJVL signed the Kunnar-Pasakhi gas-processing agreement with the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) through a public tender. The agreement was challenged at the Honorable Islamabad High Court, which has upheld it, twice, as having been competitively awarded and being in the national interest.

OGDCL produces the gas, JJVL processes it, and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) sells the processed gas to its consumers. JJVL charged OGDCL $237 per metric ton for liquids extracted from the Kunnar-Pasakhi gas stream. This rate is lower than JJVL’s submitted bid. OGDCL has unequivocally benefited from the gas-processing agreement: it has sold LPG produced via JJVL from Kunnar-Pasakhi gas at up to four times the cost price of $237 per metric ton.

All incoming and outgoing gas at JJVL’s 200mmscfd facility in Jamshoro, Sindh, is responsibly and accurately metered. The claim by Mr. Khan that JJVL “tampers its meter” is patently incorrect and entirely misplaced. JJVL invoiced OGDCL on the basis of production of liquids from incoming gas in accordance with the agreement. The more gas that JJVL processed, the more it stood to earn. It is, therefore, illogical and risible to allege that JJVL “tampers” its metering infrastructure to show lower-than-actual volumes coming into the plant.

Kunnar-Pasakhi gas processed by JJVL is returned to the gas measurement and distribution system managed exclusively by SSGC. JJVL has no role whatsoever in the management or distribution of the processed gas once it leaves its plant and enters the SSGC gas grid. Thus, claims about gas “theft” and “collusion” with gas-based power companies are entirely and hopelessly false.

OGDCL and SSGC have earned billions from the sale of Kunnar-Pasakhi gas processed by JJVL. Without processing, this gas would have damaged the national gas grid, put lives at risk, and these earnings would not have materialized. Further, processing of Kunnar-Pasakhi gas allowed Pakistan to save some Rs. 112 billion through fuel substitution: in the absence of this gas, the country would have had to import far more expensive furnace oil.

Allegations that JJVL and its chairman “refused cooperation” with your organization are both baseless and belied by the unreserved cooperation that has been extended by them. This cooperation has included but not been limited to the provision of the attested orders of the Honorable Islamabad High Court, audited accounts of the company, and other data to your organization.

JJVL and its principals shall continue to assist your organization’s objectives to seek provable facts in the service of impartial inquiry and accountability. However, the vilification campaign perpetrated by Mr. Khan through media “leaks” is highly irresponsible and strongly objectionable. In the interest of the institution you lead and the public trust you protect, we hope that you will take cognizance of this matter and put an end to it.

Thanking you,
Sincerely yours,
Fasih Ahmed